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close this bookNatural Disasters in South East Asia and Bangladesh - Vulnerability Risks and Consequences (Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters - International Center for Training Exchanges in the Geosciences, 1998, 83 p.)
close this folder1. Analysis of the vulnerability criteria (figure 30)
View the document1.1. Socio-economic indicators (wealth, health and education)
View the document1.2. Demographic indicators (population density and growth)
View the document1.3. Synthesis

1.2. Demographic indicators (population density and growth)

Like population growth, population density is a simple indicator of the vulnerability differential even though it is subject to major criticism such as inaccuracy of the statistical results using population data or the fact that these densities are but rough averages that may conceal the real contrasts of population effective distribution. Some of the maps showing a distribution nearest to the reality (Figures 31, and 32 for Vietnam and Laos) try to correct this imperfection. The principle retained is the following: the countries, particularly those with the most unfavourable socio-economic parameters, which have high to very high population densities (>200) are assumed to have higher vulnerabilities. The same is true for the annual growth data for the period 1960-1994. This can, in the same logic, be supplemented by the urban population growth. The urbanization growth rates are generally low (except in the Philippines where this rate is approximately 54%) but the urban growth rates are quite high (from 3 to more than 6 per year).

According to these criteria, Bangladesh is by far the most vulnerable country (with -an exceptionally high density for a country with a surface area of 140,000 km2, a high rate population growth and a very high urban growth). Bangladesh is followed by the Philippines which shows high values for each of these criteria. According to the indicators, the other countries show a globally lower vulnerability despite their disparities notably as for density.